By Juan Torres
Trevor Wilson’s ’11 Jeep Wrangler JKU Sport earned him the Young Guns title at this year’s Silver Lake Jeep Invasion and an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas to compete in SEMA Battle of the Builders.
Trevor Wilson, an on-call firefighter for Fire Station 14 of the Newton Township Fire Department in Michigan, had been looking for the perfect Wrangler to build his dream Jeep, and he found it in 2015 when he came across a ’11 Jeep Wrangler JKU Sport with very few modifications and low miles.
The Wrangler was the perfect canvas to build a Jeep with a fire and rescue theme that Wilson could use during a fire emergency. He equipped it with nearly everything that was required by the state of Michigan to be a Basic Life Support ambulance, and even named it “Jeep 14” in representation of where he and his father work.
“Although Jeep 14 is a personally owned vehicle and not directly a part of the Station 14 fleet, my father and I use it to respond to emergencies on a regular basis,” said Wilson, who recently employed the Wrangler during a house fire emergency. “I used three of the onboard fire extinguishers to put out the fire before more extensive property damage could occur. All occupants of the home were safe.”
The modified firefighting Wrangler earned Wilson the Young Guns title at this year’s Silver Lake Jeep Invasion and an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, where he will compete in SEMA Battle of the Builders and display Jeep 14 in a designated feature spot—a benefit typically reserved exclusively for exhibitors at the trade-only event.
“It is extremely rewarding to see all of my hard work pay off, especially on the level that is the SEMA Young Guns competition,” said Wilson. “I’m looking forward to proudly representing the Jeep community and young builders at the SEMA Show."
As a promoter of youth automotive programs, Wilson is excited to be a part of the SEMA Young Guns program and put Jeep 14 up against other top builds in the country in Las Vegas.
“The SEMA Young Guns Battle of the Builders helps to drive the interest of young individuals in the automotive industry. I hope to see increased participation from young builders for many years to come,” said Wilson. “I strongly encourage companies within the auto industry to invest in youth programs and to continue promoting our industry’s future.”
The SEMA Young Guns program makes it possible for younger enthusiasts who may not already have a vehicle at the 2018 SEMA Show to network with industry leaders. This year, a total of 14 Young Guns prize packages will be awarded at select regional events throughout the country.
“Young Guns is a strategic initiative that builds excitement and involvement among younger builders in the automotive aftermarket industry,” said SEMA Chairman of the Board Wade Kawasaki. “The reception to the program has been amazing, and we’re thrilled to build upon its success.”
SEMA Show builders interested in gaining national exposure by showcasing their cars and parts through the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition have until Friday, August 31, to register. Only feature or booth vehicles that have been accepted by SEMA for display at the 2018 SEMA Show and are not currently under an embargo at the time of entry will be considered for the 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders.